Entertainment

Magazine queen still a star

Ita Buttrose, President elect for Alzheimer's Australia, speaking at Crowley village in Ballina yesterday.
Ita Buttrose, President elect for Alzheimer's Australia, speaking at Crowley village in Ballina yesterday. Doug Eaton

SHE is one of Australia's most influential women, but Ita Buttrose told a gathering in Ballina yesterday that a humble tea towel helped kick-start her successful media career.

Ita was at Ballina's Crowley aged-care facility in her role as president-elect for Alzheimer's Australia, talking to residents for a Seniors Week event.

But the residents were keen to hear Ita talk about the days when she was in the limelight as founding editor of Cleo magazine, then editor of the Women's Weekly, but the 70-year-old said she doesn't feel as though she has ever been out of the limelight.

She told the gathering about her first job in media as a copy girl where one of her duties was to make coffee for the 40 or so staff.

Long after those days, she learned that management considered her to be a person to keep an eye on, and, she said, it was all because as a 15-year-old she brought her own tea towel to work to wipe up the coffee cups.

"It shows the importance of making a good first impression," Ita said.

Ita nowadays has a television slot on Channel 9's Today show and is the ambassador for Alzheimer's Australia. Her father had a form of dementia.

She said a drama on ABC television last year about her role as the founding editor of Cleo magazine, Paper Giants, "introduced me to a new generation of younger women".

Getting the magazine off the ground in the early 1970s, Ita said, was a challenge.

It targeted the "progressive woman in changing middle-class Australia", with stories on sex and the famous centrefold, with Aussie actor Jack Thompson baring all.

But she said the reality of the time was that women were oppressed, even as the times were a'changing.

Ita said modern women "don't understand what it was like to be a woman in Australia in the 1970s".

She said the freedoms and earning capacity women have today is a vast improvement on those days.

"But women are not represented enough in boardrooms and not represented enough as CEOs," she said.

Ita has an uncle living in Ballina, but this was the first time she had been to what she said he always describes as "God's country".

"And I can see why," she said.

She also was excited to learn that Cold Chisel will be playing at this year's Bluesfest at Byron Bay.

The iconic Australian rock band penned a song about the iconic Australian woman, called Ita.

"They're my favourite band, and my favourite song," she said.

She only met Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes two years ago in a taxi during a trip to the US for the "G'day America" promotion.

In her role as an ambassador for Alzheimer's Australia, Ita said she wants to give a voice to those affected by the disease.

Topics:  alzheimer's, ballina, cleo magazine, ita buttrose, lismore


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Police investigating Ballina incident

Do you recognise this man? Police would like to speak with him.

Can you identify this man?

Rubbish collections back on agenda

BULKY RUBBISH: A Ballina Shire mayoral candidate has raised the issue of kerbside collections for the region.

Kerbside collections of bulky rubbish on the agenda

Latest deals and offers

Legal poppies will make you die, not high

A NEW crop will be popping up across the state after all sides of politics agreed to lift a ban on poppy seed farming for medical use.

Police investigating Ballina incident

Do you recognise this man? Police would like to speak with him.

Can you identify this man?

Rubbish collections back on agenda

BULKY RUBBISH: A Ballina Shire mayoral candidate has raised the issue of kerbside collections for the region.

Kerbside collections of bulky rubbish on the agenda

Battle over North Coast lake road continues

BATTLE FOR ROAD: Lennox Head's Stop the Lake Road Closure committee spokesperson Pip Carter (back, left) with NSW Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres who has described the decision to close the road as odd.

Battle to keep road open is not over

Local teen actor to star in cult horror

Nicholas Hamilton.

Nicholas Hamilton, 16, has cemented his Hollywood career

John Williamson winding up for another Gympie Muster

John Williamson is bringing some new songs and artists to this year's Muster.

John Williamson is back and ready to put on his best show ever

Kanye West gets 'free reign' at VMAs

Kanye West has been let off the leash for the VMAs

Robbie Williams sings at manager's funeral

Robbie Williams and Lamar sang at the funeral of their manager

Twice as much Troy will please country music lovers

CATCH HIM WHILE YOU CAN: Singer Troy Cassar-Daley plans to take some time off to spend with family next year.

TROY Cassar-Daley is releasing a new album and book.

Courtney Stodden gets Reborn Doll

Courtney Stodden is trying to get over her recent miscarriage

Kate McKinnon 'destitute' before SNL

Kate McKinnon says she can't do anything but act

FBI investigating Leslie Jones website hack

The FBI are investigating Leslie Jones' personal website hack

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m